American inventor Thomas Edison said, “Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.” Although time is a precious treasure given to us for free, it is the one prize we tend to lose track of the most. We are often told to make wise use of our time, and to take full advantage of it; however, we seem to turn ourselves towards the opposite end of the spectrum, causing us to regularly misconceive its value.
As a student at St Joseph’s College, I have had to learn how to make thoughtful use of my time. Pursuing a dual degree while being employed part-time, I am not only overloaded with the requirements of two academic programs, but I also hold numerous responsibilities as a student worker at the college. To fully explain what I’ve learned about managing my time, I should go back to the fall semester, when I worked outside the college as a sales associate at a shoe store. I recall the moments of rushing from and to class in order to be on time. I did not have a chance to plan things out, and my days were consumed by a fast-paced routine. However, the disappearance of my time did not stop me from wanting to achieve the best grades I could in my classes. So, I was indirectly forced to innovate my way of planning and organizing my time. I had to come up with a method that would allow me to be both an exemplary worker, but more importantly, an outstanding member of the college’s student body.
Surprisingly, I had not realized that while I already had the time I needed in my hands, I was not using it properly. It was only after I looked up at the walls of my bedroom when falling asleep, thinking about my achievements, that I realized how much I had been blocking my capabilities. For instance, I had an empty gap between courses that, at first, I did not use to study or complete other necessary tasks. As I thought about my day, I recalled the moments I spent talking to my friends, each moment that passed by without any level of productivity. That night, I was determined to rearrange my routine. Consequently, I started writing down my deadlines and began to set commitments. Not having drawn out a schedule before made it even more fun. I started avoiding the long chats and conversations with classmates and began picking up my materials and working on my assignments. By the time I had to head to work, I had succeeded at being a student and was fully prepared to take on my role as a salesman.
Now, as a student worker at the Information Technology Services Department on campus, I am able to take fuller advantage of the college. For instance, I have understood the basics of information exchange and troubleshooting. My time at the Student Help Desk is time that I take to evaluate how much I love what I do. Every person I assist and every problem I help resolve, is time invested to learning and immersing myself into my field of interest. Transitioning from my sales job to my current job has taught me a mighty lesson. Although I gained excellent sales skills at my previous job, I have learned that it is essential to allocate time to the activities that can change our routines positively. That is not to say that experience in a different field can’t make you happy or be useful. That is only to say that you will enjoy life to the fullest degree when you spend your time doing what you are intellectually hungry for.
It takes realization to understand the power of time. It is only when we examine our lives that we move past doing the same thing every day. To current students: stop the vague routine and begin examining where each piece of time is going. To prospective students: make a plan so that every moment of your education will propel you towards your future goals. I am confident that managing time will add a humongous improvement to the quality of your learning experience. To end my reflection, I humbly repeat Bruce Lee’s statement: “If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”